With the recent success of Hunger and Shame, director Steve McQueen has quickly become one of the hottest talents in all of film. And his latest movie, 12 Years a Slave, has already accumulated an all-star cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michael Fassbender. And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Alfre Woodard (The Help) has joined the impressive roster of stars.

The movie is based on an autobiography written in 1853 by Solomon Northup, a free black man who became enslaved. The script tells how Northup (Ejiofor) was kidnapped and put in a slave pen, paving the way for a grueling life under numerous owners. Woodard as been cast as Mistress Shaw, a former slave who has risen in the Southern caste system.

There is no firm release date as of yet, but it is expected in theaters in 2013. It's sure to be one of the most anticipated films of the year.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]